Germany refuses to issue Schengen visas to Russians, arguing that they have an increased interest in emigrating from Russia due to "partial mobilization." This was told to The Insider by two "refuseniks" who tried to visit relatives in Germany and were refused, despite the presence of an invitation and financial guarantees. They also write about refusals on the Vinsky forum - a profile forum for travelers.
All have the same wording:
“When checking the readiness to return back, the situation that has radically changed in recent months, as well as the political and economic isolation of your homeland, plays a role. At present, it can no longer be assumed that circumstances that in past years could be assessed as a sufficient indication of the willingness to return, with the same weight and now indicate a willingness to return. With regard to your country, the embassy proceeds from the generally increased migration pressure.
Doubts about your readiness to return to your homeland come from the fact that you, as a Russian citizen of military age, belong to a circle of people who in Russia are potentially affected by the partial mobilization of the armed forces. Therefore, your readiness to return to your homeland after the expiration of your visa is significantly reduced.”
Alexander (one of those who was turned down with this wording at the beginning of the year) told The Insider that it was not the first time he received a German Schengen and submitted all the necessary documents as usual. It did not help:
“My sister has been living in Germany since 2013, she has not yet received German citizenship. From 2014 to 2019, I visited her five times and had four German visas - two for two weeks, one for three months and one for a year. The last time I went to her was before the pandemic in 2019. I submitted a new application at the end of January this year, the purpose is to visit relatives. An official invitation, all documents, financial guarantees, a ticket purchased by the inviting party, and so on, everything is as it should be. Two weeks later, he took the documents - there was a refusal. I don’t know German, but my sister said, it says something about the fact that I’m young, I can be mobilized, and therefore they don’t believe that I will return back to the Russian Federation.
Another "refusenik" received exactly the same paper with the wording of "unwillingness to return to their homeland" in March - just four days after the submission of documents. He spoke about this to The Insider on condition of anonymity. He also tried to visit his sister:
“My sister lives and works in Germany, she is a doctor, she has an EU blue card. She sent me and my girlfriend an official invitation (Verpflichtungserklärung), indicating that all financial expenses are covered - this is the main requirement of the German embassy. We collected all the documents according to the list and applied for a “visiting relatives and friends” visa. Before that, there was no direct German visa, there were long visas for Spain, Italy, and Austria. Actually, I was refused due to mobilization, and my girlfriend was given a visa without any problems. In mid-March, they submitted documents, the refusal came in four days.”
Judging by the messages on Vinsky's forum, there may be many more "refuseniks".
The Insider sent a request for clarification to the German Embassy in Russia, as well as to the German Foreign Ministry.